Jeff Bezos: Trump should welcome media scrutiny

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos

The Amazon CEO and his wife, MacKenzie, will commit $2 billion to fund existing nonprofits that help homeless families and to create a network of preschools in low-income communities.

"If our own great-grandchildren don't have lives better than ours, something has gone very wrong", Bezos wrote on Twitter announcing the fund.

More than a year ago, Bezos posted to Twitter a request for suggestions on philanthropic initiatives created to make a difference in the short term.

While he has financially supported cancer research and scholarships for immigrants, among other causes, Mr Bezos has primarily devoted his fortune to his Blue Origin rocket company, which he described on Thursday as an "investment in the future of our planet through the development of foundational space infrastructure".

"We'll use the same set of principles that have driven Amazon", wrote Bezos.

Many on Twitter, however, did not hurry to heap praise on Bezos' new endeavor, pointing out Amazon's practices of underpaying its workers and forcing employees to work in stuffy warehouses without air conditioning.

Later, Bezos told a Washington gathering that the $2 billion was only a start and that he would likely expand his philanthropic efforts.

His private ownership of The Washington Post, which has published articles critical of the White House, has also put him at odds with U.S. President Donald Trump.

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Discussing the preschools he would be funding, Bezos said he would focus on children the way Amazon does its customers. "We're going to push through this".

The fund will also launch a network of "full scholarship" preschools based in underserved communities.

A picture shared by Amazon chief Jeff Bezos on Instagram.

Since then, he and his wife have built the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which had an endowment of US$51 billion at the end of 2017 and pledges to spend all its resources within 20 years of its founders' deaths.

And taking a look at social media, it's not Bezos alone.

Bezos, with an estimated fortune of more than $160 billion, is now the world's wealthiest man, according to Forbes. The initiative will be called the Bezos Day One Fund, borrowing from Amazon's corporate mantra to approach tasks with the initiative of a startup's first day. "The secret sauce of Amazon - the number one thing that has made us successful has by far is obsessive, compulsive focus on the customer".

Bezos said early childhood education is a critical area and that "the money spent there is going to pay huge dividends for decades".

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